The Kansas City Chiefs have, undoubtedly, become a gold-standard franchise in today’s NFL landscape. Kansas City has won five straight division titles, made the playoffs eight out of the last nine years, won a Super Bowl in 2020 and appeared in a second-straight in 2021.

As the Chiefs have only lost two meaningful football games since November 10th of 2019 and with Patrick Mahomes merely beginning to enter the prime of his career, it becomes difficult to poke holes. While Vegas odds have the Chiefs as Super Bowl LVI favorites, it may be time to consider a potential step back for the franchise.

Causes for Concern

  • Schedule. The Chiefs will take on seven playoff teams from a year ago including the Browns and Bills, two franchises on the upswing. Add to that potentially hotly-contested division games with the Raiders (whom the Chiefs lost to last season) and L.A. (Mahomes will believe it when he see’s it). There is also the fact that Andy Reid has only won more than 12 games twice in his career and the Chiefs have hovered right around the 11/12 win mark throughout Reid’s time in KC.
  • The roster is not as good as it was in 2020. Gone are key cogs like Sammy Watkins and Bashaud Breeland. The WR core is slowly diminishing, even with Tyreek Hill in his prime. Travis Kelce is nearing 32 although still at the top of the tight end heap. Will someone emerge from a list of skilled position also-rans like Robinson, Pringle or Hardman? You are also looking at a potential suspension for DE Frank Clark which could hurt an already average pass-rush. Aside from the offensive line, there is not a position group on the team that is better today than in 2020 (linebacker would be arguable).
  • Are other AFC teams catching up? We’ve witnessed the upstart Browns have an excellent offseason which included bolstering their secondary. The Bills made it to the AFC Championship game a season ago and look to be formidable for the foreseeable future. The Ravens are dangerous unless Lamar Jackson is asked to throw a football. Within the AFC West the Chargers (where have I heard this one before?) appear to be on the rise behind QB Justin Herbert. Last year, the Chiefs were the best team and it wasn’t close. This year? The water is a bit more muddy.

Reasons for Hope

  • The Chiefs are still the team to beat. You can nitpick the roster all you want but the fact remains the Chiefs are at the top of the AFC mountaintop until someone knocks them off. There is a mental and physical edge that exists when you see a franchise become the symbol of excellence that it has.
  • THE LINE! Chiefs fans witnessed a completely inept offensive line attempt (poorly) to protect Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV. I believe there was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction that occurred after that game but GM Brett Veach completely turned the position over bringing in high-profile talents Orlando Brown and Joe Thuney, drafting center Creed Humphrey and bringing in veterans like Kyle Long and Austin Blythe.
  • What matters most: The QB and the coach. Not a lot needs to be said here, you have Patrick Mahomes, former league and Super Bowl MVP just NOW entering the prime of his career and Andy Reid at the helm, arguably the NFL’s best head coach. While other teams are trying to draft and make moves to combat the Chiefs dominance, the combo of Reid and Mahomes will make it extremely difficult to overtake the Chiefs in this conference.

2021 Chiefs Schedule Prediction

L.A. ChargersW
NY GiantsW
Green BayL
@Las VegasW
Las VegasW
@ L.A. ChargersL
@Cincinnati W
@Denver L

Final record 12-5, AFC West Champions, 2 seed AFC Playoffs

Avatar of Clint Switzer

By Clint Switzer

Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. Starcade Media co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

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